Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
New Community Forest created in the North East to support a greener future
Defra, England Community Forests and local councils across the North East area are announcing the creation of a new Community Forest to bring people closer to nature in the North East.
The North East Community Forest sees six local authorities joining forces with environmental organisations to plant trees across the region.
The initiative aims to plant up to 500 hectares of trees by 2025, with a long-term goal to increase canopy cover across the north east to 30% by 2050 – almost double the current national average.
The partnership will work with people in the community, businesses and landowners with the aim of bringing forests and woodlands to those most in need across Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham.
Thousands of trees will be planted in the first year - up to 25ha, or around 35 football pitches – thanks to £480,000 in funding from Defra’s Nature for Climate Fund.
Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
I am delighted to welcome the North East Community Forest to the expanding network of Community Forests across England. Supported by our £640 million Nature for Climate Fund, we will plant many thousands of trees and help rewild areas that are most in need.
Our economies, livelihoods and well-being all rely on nature, and tackling the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss are at the heart of this project.
Spending time in nature – particularly around trees – is proven to boost our physical and mental health and wellbeing, so I am pleased this project will be accessible to communities in Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham.
Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for climate change and public safety, said:
We know that trees and woodlands are of incredible importance to the people of the North East.
They help us create liveable and sustainable communities, contributing to our efforts to tackle climate change, supporting economic and social regeneration, and – particularly in a year when we’ve all spent more time at home – providing welcome opportunities for relaxation and leisure.
Independently, the region’s councils have been working towards their own planting targets, with some great successes, but in coming together and becoming the North East Community Forest, we can supercharge those ambitions for the benefit of all.
If trees are planted in the right place, we know that we can reduce the risk of flooding, create new habitat for wildlife, improve air quality, provide positive impacts on human health and wellbeing, boost the economy, provide new jobs, provide timber for sustainable building and energy production and store thousands of tonnes of carbon.
And not only will this protect and enhance our existing tree stock, green our streets and create woodland in our cities, towns and villages, it will give some of our more deprived neighbourhoods access to nature and improve community wellbeing in many ways.
Paul Nolan, Chair, England’s Community Forests, said:
The North East Community Forest has joined our thriving partnership of Community Forest organisations from across the country, all of whom are working to transform the landscapes and communities in and around our towns and cities.
This is an incredibly exciting moment for the people of the North East as their new Community Forest sets out to create greener, more tree-filled and accessible spaces for all to enjoy, encourage biodiversity to thrive, support local economic growth and help the city region tackle climate change.
We warmly welcome the North East Community Forest to our network and look forward to working side by side with all those involved.
Anyone interested in potentially becoming involved with the project can find out more at www.newcastle.gov.uk/northeastcommunityforest or email email@example.com to be kept up to date with information and opportunities as they become available.
Latest News from
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
More than 1,000 flood schemes to benefit from record investment29/07/2021 11:20:00
Over £860m to be invested in flood alleviation schemes this year with further action including improvements to flood insurance.
Government to invest £6.2m in new flood defences for Bewdley29/07/2021 09:15:00
Part of a package of funding for schemes across the Severn Valley
Multi-million pound boost for green jobs and nature recovery28/07/2021 12:20:00
90 projects awarded grants to accelerate action to support 2,500 jobs, plant almost a million trees and boost nature recovery across the country
Latest notices for traders from Defra27/07/2021 14:20:00
Defra has issued notices for traders on importing Goods from the EU, an updated Border Operating Model and the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Red tape cut for wine imports to save British wine lovers £130m a year27/07/2021 08:10:00
Ministers announce intention to remove VI-1 certification requirements for imported wine.
G20 Environment Ministers commit to action at the G20 in Naples26/07/2021 16:10:00
UK Government welcomes commitments to halt biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution at the G20 in Naples.
Food industry Covid testing rolled out to support sector26/07/2021 11:20:00
Environment Secretary George Eustice and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have outlined plans for daily contact testing for the food and drink industries.
Government seeks views on compensatory measures for development impacts on Marine Protected Areas22/07/2021 16:25:00
10 week consultation opens on guidance for developers.